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This short tutorial will give you an idea of how to make the basics of the classic dub synth...

Massive Tutorials

Dub Techno Synth Stab Tutorial

This short tutorial will give you an idea of how to make the basics of the classic dub synth stab you may have heard in tracks by the likes of Quantec, Marko Furstenberg or Basic Channel.

Once you have got to grips with this simple technique the doors are open to some quality sound design! This patch is the basis of most of the sounds found on this blog – it really should be a staple sound in your patch library!

I have purposely not included a patch here. The best way to learn what each parameter on Massive does, or how to build your own sounds is to get your hands dirty and get messing with the synth!

The tutorial assumes you have the basic understanding of Massive and it’s routing/modulation functions. I hope it is of help!

Listen to this technique used in my Dub Techno Ep – ‘Black Light’

Black Light E.P (Stripped Recordings 040-Sr) by breakitdown

Setting up your DAW
Firstly set up a short 1 bar midi loop in your DAW and draw in your chord ( I like to use C minor somewhere down around C1). I do this rather than play the chord myself so i can tweak out the sounds and hear it ‘live’ rather than have to have one hand on my keyboard at all times. Just means i can concentrate on the sound design! So hit play and let your 1 bar loop play.

Now – onto Massive…
Set up Massive as such – (i have used clock face settings as this is universal):

OSC 1 – Set to sq/saw1 from the wavetables
Wave table @5o’clock, Intensity @1o’clock, Amp @3o’clock.

OSC 2 – Set to Va-pwm from the wavetables(de tune to +0.30 or there about)
Wt 5oclock, Pulse width 1oclock, amp 1o’clock

Turn off OSC 3
Noise/feedback/modulation – All off.

Set both OSC filters set to F1 (all the way to the top, and on the right hand side of each OSC)

Set Filter to serial

Filter 1 set to Lowpass 4, cutoff set to 3o’clock,
Resonance to 10o’clock.

Drop mod envelope 4 (one of the blue ones) on to cutoff on filter 1 and set to modulate backwards from 3 to 12o’clock.

Filter 2 off

Env4 settings –
attack to 7o’clock, lvl to 5o’clock
decay to 12o’clock, lvl to 12o’clock
Release to 7o’clock

Effect1 to reverb.
set to : dry/wet to 9o’clock, size to 3o’clock, density to 5o’clock, colour to 5o’clock.

Eq:
Low – 12
rest to 5.

[superquote]That should be a lovely sounding Dubby noise. If not… go back and make sure all your settings are the same and you are playing a minor chord![/superquote]

Taking it a little further
Once you have this noise sounding how you like it – you can now try to spice things up.

Try for example:
Insert 2 (make it last INS2 in routing tab, above effect1 in routing diagram) : Bitcrush – dry/wet to 9o’clock, crush to 10o’clock. This adds some nice white noise/static effect… classic Deepchord 🙂

Or , perhaps….
Add LFO6 to modulate res on filter 1. If res is 10o’clock, mod from 7o’clock to 1o’clock .
Set LFO 6 to sync 1/12… Wobble wobble !

Or, perhaps….
Add LFO6 to modulate decay on env4. If decay is 12, mod from 7 to 5
Set LFO 6 to sync 1/12 – Play with this 😉 Try playing with release on env 4 too… modulate perhaps!!! Very nice 😉

Or, perhaps….
add LFO6 to modulate cutoff… play with LFO rate – cool effect!

Basically experiment, try to modulate everything!

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